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The state Legislature adjourned its two-day veto override session last week without successfully overriding any of the vetoes Gov. John Bel Edwards signed, including a veto of a permitless concealed carry bill.

Lawmakers came closest to overriding Edwards' veto of legislation forbidding biological males from participating in women's sports. The state Senate reached a two-thirds majority to override the veto, but the vote to override the veto in the House of Representatives fell short of the two-thirds majority by two votes.

The legislation was known as the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, or Senate Bill 156.

Several supporters of Edwards' veto claimed SB 156 would have created legal exceptions not currently allowed under Louisiana High School Athletics Association (LHSAA) rules. 

“The current LHSAA policy is more restrictive and allowing this bill to move forward would have undermined current rules,” said Sens. Regina Barrow and Katrina Jackson as well as Reps. Travis Johnson of Ferriday, Chad Brown, Mack Cormier and Pat Moore.

“We recognize that this was fairness in women's sports but we were not aware of an exception being made for transgendered males. This exception usurps the total ban from the LHSAA, threatens the intentions of the underlying bill, and does not put all athletes on a level playing field. We initially supported this bill, but with this new information, we cannot allow it to move forward until we have legislation in place that protects all students.”

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said “the vote to override Governor Edwards’ veto of the Fairness in Women's Sports Act fell two votes short today. While I am frustrated by the result, I am encouraged by the fact that we did something that has never been done in this state in asserting our legislative independence.

“Veto sessions should be the norm from now on as Louisiana's constitution instructs. We have separate and equal branches of government for a reason. We will bring this bill back next year and will not stop fighting.”

After the failure of a veto override on SB 156, the Legislature formally adjourned the veto override session.

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